Most adults will have at least one cavity in their lifetimes—even if they are diligent about home care and regular dental visits. Tooth fillings are, in fact, one of the most common issues dentists today see in their practices, including Lee J. Martin, DMD.
In the past, the standard for care was a gray-colored, metal filling that did the job of stopping tooth decay from growing, but they aren't very attractive. Today we have tooth-colored composite fillings available that blend in with your natural tooth color, so they are virtually undetectable. They provide patients with other advantages as well.
The Procedure for Tooth-Colored Fillings
Getting a composite filling isn’t much different from getting a metal filling. The first thing Dr. Martin will do is thoroughly anesthetize the area so you won’t feel anything during the procedure. One of the advantages of tooth-colored fillings is that they adhere directly to the surface of the tooth; this means less of the tooth will need to be removed than with amalgam fillings.
Next, he will prepare the surface of the tooth to help the composite materials—usually a mixture of glass and plastic—adhere better to the tooth. The composite will be matched with your tooth color and mixed before being applied to the tooth in layers. Each layer is allowed to dry before Dr. Martin adds another.
Once the final layer has been applied, Dr. Martin will have you bite down on the filling to ensure it feels comfortable. Then he will cure and polish the restoration. Because it blends in so well with your tooth, no one will be able to see your filling.
You can care for your filling just as you would your natural tooth by brushing and flossing regularly. Along with proper home care and regular trips to the dentist, your composite filling will last many years. Because less of your tooth has to be buffed away for this type of restoration, there is less likelihood of tooth fracture, which is more common in teeth with amalgam fillings.
Other Uses for Tooth-Colored Filling Composite Materials
Called cosmetic bonding, we can use this procedure to repair issues such as:
- Chips and fractures that form on the tooth surface
- Misshapen teeth
- Teeth that are stained and resistant to whitening
- Roots exposed because of gum recession
- Size discrepancies between teeth
- Small gaps or spacing between teeth
Tooth-colored fillings also work well for treating decay at the front of the mouth because it blends in so well with the tooth it restores.
We Welcome You and Your Family
At Lee J. Martin, DMD, we know our patients value high-quality dentistry and outstanding care. Call us about filling a new cavity, replacing an old metal filling, or repairing a damaged tooth.
We look forward to restoring your smile!